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  1. #1
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    What undersuit under a trim laminate drysuit?

    Hi,

    On a really cold UK dive, I just wonder what undersuits divers wear and how many g's they are?

    The new suit, I am after says the general undersuit size to wear with the drysuit would be 200g. Anything bigger than this and a larger suit may be needed?

    The suit says it is too fit a waist 31-33 inch. I am about 32.5, sometimes a little bigger, but not over 33. I guess when they say the drysuit caters for a 2oog undersuit, this is taking into account the person being a size 33 and not a size 31 or 32, who could then wear a larger undersuit, say 300g for example?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Santi BZ400.

    You can always wear something lighter when it's warm. If you don't really want to dive in cold water the 200 is enough.

    Personally I like the 400 and only wear a lighter suit in the nice warm weather. The cut and flexibility of this suit is as good as it gets IMHO. The DUI runs a close second. After that you are going to lose flexibility as you get cheaper. Probably doesn't matter if you don't do valve shutdowns, but if you move on to that you will need to upgrade the undersuit. In my honest opinion this is the more important choice than the actual drysuit by several orders of magnitude. Therefore if I were shopping (and running two threads, one for each item) I would start with this item then move on to the outer layer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    Santi BZ400.

    You can always wear something lighter when it's warm. If you don't really want to dive in cold water the 200 is enough.

    Personally I like the 400 and only wear a lighter suit in the nice warm weather. The cut and flexibility of this suit is as good as it gets IMHO. The DUI runs a close second. After that you are going to lose flexibility as you get cheaper. Probably doesn't matter if you don't do valve shutdowns, but if you move on to that you will need to upgrade the undersuit. In my honest opinion this is the more important choice than the actual drysuit by several orders of magnitude. Therefore if I were shopping (and running two threads, one for each item) I would start with this item then move on to the outer layer.
    Well, I have been looking at drysuits and it is a bare suit I am seriously considering, so I guess I will need to find an undersuit to go with the drysuit. At the moment I wear a waterproof top and bottoms under a neoprene suit, but it is a trilaminate suit I am after, which I guess are not as warm? Or may be trilaminate suit's are as warm because times have moved on since I last bought a suit 10 yrs plus ago?

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    I would agree with Chrisch that the undersuit is possibly the more important item with a Trilam drysuit than the suit itself - unlike a neoprene suit, the suit is effectively only providing a dry bag to allow for the lot of the suit to provide the warmth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilwood View Post
    I would agree with Chrisch that the undersuit is possibly the more important item with a Trilam drysuit than the suit itself - unlike a neoprene suit, the suit is effectively only providing a dry bag to allow for the lot of the suit to provide the warmth.
    I wonder if it is better to move up a size then, if I am on the border of size measurements say from a M to Ml.

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    Layers. Lots of them when cold, fewer when warm(er).

    Personally like the Fourth Element stuff, so winter plumage consists of (inside to outside):
    * FE "Technical vest". Nice and tight, thick, comfy, warm
    * Santi heated vest - more of a tabbard
    * FE granddad vest (literally a vest)
    * soft T-shirt
    * FE long-sleeved rash vest
    * FE Arctic Expedition long-sleeved top

    For the bottom it's Warmbac neoprene long caving socks - brilliant and warm, with FE Arctic Expedition trousers with added braces

    Gloves I use FE GL (Glove Liners) which are thin neoprene. If cold then add on FE wrist warmers. All tucked up in Kubi dry gloves. Have thicker ones if it's really cold.

    That lot seems to keep me warm down to 3 degrees.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Layers. Lots of them when cold, fewer when warm(er).

    Personally like the Fourth Element stuff, so winter plumage consists of (inside to outside):
    * FE "Technical vest". Nice and tight, thick, comfy, warm
    * Santi heated vest - more of a tabbard
    * FE granddad vest (literally a vest)
    * soft T-shirt
    * FE long-sleeved rash vest
    * FE Arctic Expedition long-sleeved top

    For the bottom it's Warmbac neoprene long caving socks - brilliant and warm, with FE Arctic Expedition trousers with added braces

    Gloves I use FE GL (Glove Liners) which are thin neoprene. If cold then add on FE wrist warmers. All tucked up in Kubi dry gloves. Have thicker ones if it's really cold.

    That lot seems to keep me warm down to 3 degrees.
    Sorry to disagree but I would recommend exact opposite - get a proper undersuit to keep you warm don't keep layering up - 6 layers will be bulky and expensive. I used a heated vest if its really cold but normally 2 layers only - simple base layer (don't waste money on diving branded stuff). I have never found anything warmer than thinsulate ... 3 degree is 400g territory.

    I have never dived with someone who warmer than me wearing FE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham_hk View Post
    Sorry to disagree but I would recommend exact opposite - get a proper undersuit to keep you warm don't keep layering up - 6 layers will be bulky and expensive. I used a heated vest if its really cold but normally 2 layers only - simple base layer (don't waste money on diving branded stuff). I have never found anything warmer than thinsulate ... 3 degree is 400g territory.

    I have never dived with someone who warmer than me wearing FE.
    But does 400g undersuit have to be bulky? Yrs ago, I had the weezle extreme which was nice but bulky. Are there undersuits on the market which are thin, but provide the same amount of warmth as thick undersuits?

  9. #9
    GUE Tech and Cave Instructor johnkendall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    But does 400g undersuit have to be bulky? Yrs ago, I had the weezle extreme which was nice but bulky. Are there undersuits on the market which are thin, but provide the same amount of warmth as thick undersuits?
    No. In short, the insulation comes from trapping air. You want more insulation, then you need to trap more air. 400gr thinsulate is about as good as it gets in terms of insulation Vs bulk. The weezle is not so good from that perspective as it's really designed to be "lofted" so allowed to expand to give maximum warmth. The thinsulate is already compressed and designed to work that way.
    Until someone manages to trap vacuum in a material then we're stuck with the current physics.

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  10. #10
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnkendall View Post
    No. In short, the insulation comes from trapping air. You want more insulation, then you need to trap more air. 400gr thinsulate is about as good as it gets in terms of insulation Vs bulk. ..
    Yes, this is the real truth. Air is the insulation material. You can overinflate a drysuit and keep warm that way. It is not a good idea and the air moves around so heat is lost (like a wetsuit flushing). The 400 Thinsulate is a compromise material, between the need for 90Kg of lead and normal diving.

    The membrane suit keeps the water out. That's it. What is underneath keeps the warmth in by trapping air and by stopping the air/heat moving about under the waterproof exterior layer.

    The use of layers is commonplace in walking and other outdoor activities. Layers trap air between the garments as well as in it. They are IMHO a good way to change the insulation in the summer months and I use lightweight base layers to absorb sweat and to supplement the ratty old worn out eBay special undersuits I use in the summer. For cold weather I use a BZ400 which keeps the small of your back warm better than the outdoor garments can (IMPO).

    To reiterate my earlier point and adapt if to the layering technique - you need to buy a suit that will allow all the layers you might wear in cold water. It's a different approach but the end result is the same, the nearer you are to the Michelin man the warmer you are (and the more lead you need to sink). Decent quality layers are better than a cheap shit one piece. The Santi undersuit is really rather nice. I have a elderly Beaver undersuit that is the same quilted Thinsulate but it is very restrictive if you need to lift your arms above shoulder level. Thermally though it is pretty close. IIRC it was 20 quid off eBay. My default summer one piece is OK by virtue of being too big which lets you move freely but lets the air move about.

    I will now draw the rath of the GUE team by saying if you really really want to be warm in cold water you can't beat a neoprene suit. Me, if it is that bloody cold I stay at home. I have dived Lake Iseo in 3C in a membrane in comfort. It's the hands and feet that get cold first. Anything less than 3 and bollocks to it, the pub beckons.


 
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